When choosing whether to invest in a franchise opportunity, franchisees need to not only keep up with government and industry trends, but fully understand them as well.

There are four types of trends that potential franchisees must consider to make an informed decision, AllBusiness.com reports. These are national, legal and governmental, employment and local trends. Business magazines and newspapers, as well as government agencies such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census, can be especially informative.

Franchisees cannot base their decisions solely on the national economic climate and outlook; they need to research their proposed locations. The Web site suggests that investors contact the local chamber of commerce and private research firms for local market and consumer information.

Another way to gather information on a region’s economic outlook is to consider employment statistics or visit the proposed area to see how many “Help Wanted” signs are posted. However, local politicians may be working to improve the area or pass employment legislation that significantly changes the neighborhood, AllBusiness writes.

Additionally, specific types of franchises and products gain popularity and are a good way for franchisees to capitalize on their success. Small Business Trends listed senior services, frozen yogurt, Mexican food and home-based franchises as popular new franchises for 2010.




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